Simone Mancuso, percussionst and conductor, was born and raised in Italy. He has been internationally recognized for his interpretations of contemporary classical pieces with prizes including the Kranichstein-Stipendienpreise from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in 2002 and the First Pirize from Stockhausen Stiftung f ü r Music in 2005, which was awarded to Mancuso directly by Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 2007, Karlheinz Stockhausen selected him as a recommended performer of his works. His career as a soloist has taken him throughout Japan, Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. He has performed in such prestigious venues and festivals as the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Strathmore Hall, the Martha Argerich Project, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, ISCM World New Music Days, Internationale Ferienkurse f ü r Neue Music Darmstadt, RAI Radio Tre, Teatro Nacional of Brazil, and the Moscow Conservatory, among others.
As a soloist, he has appeared with the Basel Sinfonietta, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, SONUS Ensemble, and Orchestra da Camera Ungherese under the baton of Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, Johannes Kalitzke, Giorgio Bernasconi, Denise Fedeli, and Diego Fasolis. He has collaborated with composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Salvatore Sciarrino, Klaus Huber, Chaya, Czernowin, Edoardo Soto-Milan, Rudolf Kelterborn, Adriana H ö lsky, Giovanni Damiani and Glenn Hackbarth among others. In a chamber music setting, he has performed and recorded with celebrated pianists such as Martha Argerich, Gabriele Baldocci and Giorgia Tomassi.
Mancuso’s critically acclaimed, internationally released recordings can be heart on Deutsche Grammophon, Stradivarius, Col Legno, Curva Minore, Suisse Grammont Portrait, and Chelandia. His solo CD La Parala al Legno features the world premiere recording of Il Legno e la Parola for solo marimba by Salvatore Sciarrino. His second solo CD is entirely dedicated to John Cage and features the world premiere recording of Variations VIII . He is the founding member of the Swiss-based Lugano Percussion Group, the jazz/classical crossover duo Mancuso-Suzda Project, and the Sonus Duo with renowned saxophonist Timothy McAllister. Since 2009 he has collaborated with the Phoenix-based ensemble, Crossing 32nd Street.
As a conductor, he recently toured with his New York based trio Ensemble Nomade where he conducted Stravinsky Histoire du Sol dat at the Martha Argerich Festivals in Japan and Switzerland. For this project Ensemble Nomade was paired with the members of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra, Tokyo University (Japan) and the Swiss Radio Orchestra.
Currently, Mancuso lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Percussion, Director of the Arizona Contemporary Music Festival at Arizona State Unversity. He holds a Conservatory Diploma in Percussion from the Conservatorio A. Scontrino in Trapani, Italy, where he studied with Professor Fulvia Ricevuto. He also received the Solisten Diplom from the University School of Music of Lugano, Switzerland where he studied with Professor Mircea Ardeleanu. The Solisten Diplom is only given four times per year, and Mancuso was the first percussionist ever to receive this recognition.